Re: Congratulations, Tom!
- Oh, systems like that DO help a bit, Teej, but those logs are really at the disposal of the LIBRARIANS, not other researchers. (Researchers don't to flip through them and see what other people are working on. The notion is that, if the ARCHIVISTS know why people are looking at particular things, they can perhaps put researcher A in contact with -- or at make them aware of -- researcher B working in the same area.)
So a system like that only works to the extend that the archivists SHARE what they learn in those logs. (Some do, so don't.)
And as far as "claim staking" goes, there's probably not too great a risk. People can only be reasonably expected to work on one or two projects at a time. And too, just because you're working on a particular TOPIC doesn't give you any sort of exclusive rights to it. (I have a bookcase full of Gettysburg titles that proves that point.) There's nothing that prevents someone from working on thing X just because someone else is. (I recall that, several years ago, four major Benjamin Frtanklin biographies by significant historians all were published within 18 months of one another.)
Now the situation is a little special when your talking about EDITING a particular manuscript, because you literally ARE talking about -- to a large extent -- the same exact book. (Whatever Tom's version has that mine doesn't, whatever I said that Tom didn't, at their cores our two projects will contain the same several hundred thousand words that Ezra Carman wrote.)
And Carman too was a SPECIAL special case. Most manuscript repositories -- even at major universities -- are relatively small enough that the staffs know who is and isn't doing something with a particular collection or document. Carman was housed at the Library of Congress, and their manuscript division is SO vast, and the volume of researchers is SO great, and the staff is SO huge, that you can't reasonably expect anyone to follow what everyone is doing. (Plus, most of their collections are in the public domain, and they do not requre any sort of permissions process if you want to publish something out of it, so there's even less chance to get on an archivist's radar at the LC than at any other repository.)
But leaving all of that aside, in Tom's and my particular case, some of the same people DID know about our respective projects. They just neglected to SAY so. :)
So to (imperfectly) overlay our experience on Teej's initial question, those "logs" are only as useful as the willingness of the person who maintains them to share what he's learned from it.
--- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Teej Smith" <teej@...> wrote:
> Both UNC and Duke research libraries have a notebook in their reading room the purpose of which is for researchers/writers to write in the the subject they're researching and why. They also ask for contact information. It's all voluntary, of course. Was wondering if any of you think this is a good idea.
- Oh, if you change the FORMAT, it could be done (in theory). I was merely speaking about the impossibility of ever seeing the Antietam Atlas ever reprinted in its original form. (CD-ROM is great, but unless you have a color printer that'll take a sheet of paper three feet by four feet. . . . )
For those who've never seen the Antietam Atlas (and very few were produced), each plate is about the size of a small coffee table. If you've ever seen a plate from the ORIGINAL OR Atlas (not the one currently sold in bookstores; those have been reduced dramatically in size), it's almost identical. And in terms of page count, the OR Atlas is probably 20x the size of the Antietam Atlas. (A book has to be of a certain length to make the eocnomics of publishing work.)
--- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "G E Mayers" <gerry1952@...> wrote:
> Dear Jake;
> The trick of course would be what format would work best and
> whether a CD could also be part of the package to sweeten the
> deal. (I have worked in the publishing field also, so am aware of
> some of the technical issues involved.)
> Yr. Obt. Svt.
> G E "Gerry" Mayers
> To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
> on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
> Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
> the Almighty God. --Anonymous
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "joseph_pierro" <joseph_pierro@...>
> To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
> Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 12:47 PM
> Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Congratulations, Tom!
> <snip>If it ever were to be attempted, the only way I think it
> could possibly be done would be to reprint the maps as single
> sheets (as opposed to being bound in a book).